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Thanksgiving got me thinking

Thinking about all of the things that I’m grateful for made me think about the goals I set at the beginning of the year and how many, if any, I’ve accomplished, as well as what I hope to accomplish next year.

Personal
There’s been a lot of tests this year in my personal life. But one positive thing is that I’ve learned to draw boundaries with people, and I’ve learned that just because you get along with someone doesn’t mean that you should have that person in your life. Toxic people come in all shapes and sizes. But some of these lessons allowed me to cut relationships and people out of my life that weren’t good for me.

Mike and I have learned how to work better as a team. We both have the habit of shutting down when stressed, and we’ve started to learn how to work together to deal with that stress rather than just give each other space to work things out.

Work
I settled into my first business-related job. I got my official placement and was out of training by late January. It really marked a first for me – it’s the first time I held a managerial role. Was this where I wanted to end up? No. I wanted corporate. I mean, that’s why I got an MBA, right? But there are stepping stones to getting there, and it was thought that I should get some time in a store before I moved to corporate. So I slid into the role that I’m currently in. I’ve learned a lot over the past year about management, and running a business, to how all of the pieces of the puzzle fit together. I genuinely believe that my experiences now are only going to help me going forward. I’ve been tested in many different ways, and I’ve proven myself in many others. Overall I think that has been a good, positive experience.

Health
Currently my mental health is as good as it’s probably been in years. I attribute this to a good cocktail of meds, utilizing what I’ve learned in therapy, utilizing therapy when I need it but not wasting time on it when I don’t, learning to communicate my needs to those around me, and also recognizing when I need to disconnect from the world for a bit and just do nothing. Learning how to better balance my time and prioritize things at work, at home, and in life in general. I’ve talked about it recently in other posts, but I’ve finally figured out that I don’t need to be everything for everyone all of the time. Learning what needs to be done, what I need to ask for help with, and what I actually want to do has gone a long way toward improving my stress level and my overall health.

Physical health wise, I’m doing ok. I’ve missed my goal for the year in terms of weight loss and overall fitness, but I’ve learned some important lessons along the way. Things like rest days are necessary, cheat days are important, and it’s possible to eat too little among them. Yes, I’ve lost a bit of weight this year, albeit not as much as I would have liked, but I’m ending the year on a much better note than I began it. I still struggle with diet, and I think that’s going to be a struggle for awhile, but I’m learning. I did Noom this year and while I didn’t get the results that a lot of people do, it helped me identify patterns and behaviors in my diet and fitness that I know I need to work on, and it gave me tools to help fix it. I feel like I have a solid plan going forward and I know what I need to work on. I have solid goals in mind and realistic expectations of what is actually possible. I’ve been heartened recently by the progress that I’m already seeing in running and lifting, and I know I just need to stay on track, even when I get discouraged.

The biggest thing that I have a problem with is self-blame when I eat too much, or stop fasting too soon, or skip the gym. This ties back to being a perfectionist – I could do better, I should do better, I can do better. And I beat myself up when I don’t do exactly what I’m supposed to. This definitely ties in to other aspects of my life as well, not just my health, but this is one area where it’s plainly visible. I often don’t see my successes, only where I’ve failed.

Hobbies
While I surpassed my reading goal for the year by a great margin, I feel like a number of the books I read really weren’t of any substance, so is it really fair to say that I beat my goal? I mean, sure, I read them, but… I guess I’m having the hardest time coming to the realization that I read a bunch of crap this year. But sometimes your brain just needs a reset, and reading the heavy history books or contemporary fiction or any of the old classics can be draining if you don’t have something lighter to bring it up. I’m not a robot, so I guess I can forgive myself for reading some garbage among the diamonds.

I’ve started crocheting again, recently. Sometime earlier this year it fell by the wayside and I just didn’t pick it up again. When I organized everything a few weeks ago I found the blanket that I call the Sally Blanket (it reminds me of Sally from Nightmare Before Christmas) that’s a little under half done and I’m actually excited to pick it back up and finish it. This is the first time I’ve been excited about a project in a long time. And you know what? When it’s done I’m keeping it. I’ve never made anything for me, but this one is going to be.

The vegetable garden this year was an impressive success, and I’m looking forward to planning the garden for next year. It was a lot of fun growing everything, some from seeds, and harvesting everything for us to eat at home or to give to friends. We made a lot of delicious meals using things that came from the back yard.

Looking back at some of the goals I put down on paper at the beginning of the year, some just weren’t attainable. They weren’t just hard, they were just impossible. But I have a better idea of things that I want to accomplish next year, and how to accomplish them. I’m going to spend the next month really drilling down on what I want to do over the next year, where I want to take my life. I’m not getting any younger, it’s time to knuckle down and make some plans that are attainable and achievable that do something to better my life.

That’s it for now. Stay safe, friends.

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